Guards found in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus are either of the normal "guard" variety, or flashlight guards. Normal guards are mostly stationary, except in rare cases where they will pursue Sly Cooper in order to attack him. Flashlight guards can also be stationary, though they will often travel in a small circle. They only attack Sly if he enters their flashlight range, and only if he is on the ground (if Sly is aerial while in the flashlight range, the guard will not see him), after which they will fire a homing shot that is very accurate, only missing if somehow it hits an object. The homing shots also has their own AI, and any remaining shots that are in the air after a Decoy is destroyed can turn and fly at Sly. After collecting a page of the Thievius Raccoonus containing notes on Bruce O'Coop's Computer Hacking Technique, Sly will be able to see through his Binocucom to see the English and Latin names of the guards, as well as their hobbies.
Most guards found in Sly 2: Band of Thieves are either rooftop guards, flashlight guards, and on one occasion, Carmelita Fox. The rooftop guards can be either stationary or have small patrol routes on the roof that they are stationed on. They occasionally can be found on street-level. If a rooftop guard spots a member of the Cooper Gang, they will immediately attack, and pursue if the player runs. Some rooftop guards can call to other guards, alerting them of the player's presence. If the player goes somewhere that a guard can't, rooftop guards will throw small stones at them, which will slightly injure the player in most versions of the game. Flashlight guards will patrol around the city and will only attack and pursue the player if they enter the guard's flashlight range. Flashlight guards are very accurate with their shots, and have a close-range attack, making them very dangerous. The patrol guard, Inspector Carmelita Fox, appears only in He Who Tames the Iron Horse. She acts similar to the flashlight guards, though her patrol route is much larger. She is also much less accurate than the flashlight guards, and cannot be taken out.
Guards found in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves are similar to the guards in Sly 2: Band of Thieves, with minor differences to the way they act. Flashlight guards, for example, no longer get knocked back every time they get hit. Rooftop guards can also dodge attacks by jumping.
In Sly 2, all of the secondary rooftop guards seem to have reused animations, except in the last episode, where there is only one type of rooftop guard.
In the bonus commentary for "A Rocky Start," one of the designers and animators said he had pet names for most of the guards, and these pet names soon became the aliases for the guards in the Binocucom.
In Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus and Thieves in Time, the guards taunt the player whenever they successfully attack the player.
Sly 2 is the only game in the series in which none of the guards were named.